Wednesday December 9, 2020

News bargaining code
News media bargaining code finalised as concessions are made

The news media bargaining code legislation was signed off on today by a Coalition backbench committee. The ABC and SBS will now be included in proposed laws to force Google and Facebook to pay media companies for news content but the companies have also gained some concessions in their favour. 

One of the concessions achieved by Facebook and Google is that the code will be based on a two-way value exchange which means that the value the tech giants provide to news companies through referral traffic is to be taken into consideration when negotiating.

Another concession is an adjustment to the media companies giving advance notice of algorithm changes 28 days in advance.

This has been adjusted to only significant changes made by human intervention including policy decisions that affect how news media content is featured on the tech giants platforms.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg can table the legislation in Parliament as soon as Wednesday after it is presented to the Coalition party room on Tuesday, but won’t come into effect till 2021.

News Corps Response

News Corp Ausralasia executive chairman Michael Miller commented:

This important News Media Bargaining Code legislation is a significant step forward in the decade-long campaign to achieve fairness in the relationship between Australian news media companies and the global tech giants.
All we have ever sought is a fair commercial outcome and fair payment for the valuable news content our journalists create. I believe this code puts in place the framework for this to be achieved.
As a result of their lobbying, the tech platforms have won concessions, and there should be nothing stopping them now from reaching fair commercial agreements. Ultimately, this Code will benefit Australian consumers by helping sustain Australian news from Australian media companies.
I understand why, in the face of the Covid crisis, the code will not be made law this year as originally planned, and I look forward to working with all participants to have the code in place in early 2021.
I thank the ACCC, the federal government and other parties that have set Australia up to achieve this landmark piece of legislation.

Kyle Sandilands
Day 3 of the highlights from the Kyle and Bruno Mediaweek podcast

By James Manning

 • Syndicated K&J breakfast, 2Day, contract penalties cost Kyle $250k

The final Kyle and Bruno package today with highlights from Mediaweek’s new podcast with the KIIS FM breakfast co-host and his business manager.

Don’t miss the full unedited and uncensored 1 hour and 22 minute interview here.

Download the new PodcastOne Australia app to listen or go to your favourite podcast platform.

Syndicated breakfast

BB: “The enquiry I get most from journalists is are we going to be syndicated nationally.”

Sandilands then said he has previously raised the idea of a national breakfast show with Ciaran Davis. In an Irish accent he repeated the response from the company CEO:

“You’ve already made enough money from me just for Sydney. Imagine the power you’d have if you were #1in every $%^&*@ capital city. You could do and say anything, and I’d be powerless.”

Sandilands said he’d love to co-host national breakfast with Jackie, but they don’t want to push other radio teams out of a job.

Kyle and Jackie O this week won their 16th consecutive survey as Sydney’s #1 FM station

When asked if he could nail a syndicated breakfast show for a Melbourne audience, Sandilands replied: “Easy. Other people haven’t been able to make it work because they have always chosen the wrong station. You need a show and a station that is not sports related. We have always had national shows [evening and then drive] before we went to breakfast. Our show doesn’t talk local and it is the only show that could possibly be nationally syndicated.”

BB: “People overestimate the difference between Sydney and Melbourne.”

Radio secrets of success

When we suggested to Sandilands that when The Kyle and Jackie O Show was pulled apart it was pretty simple, he replied: “Oh god, he’s exposed us!”

He also indicated that many FM shows always worry too much about the quality of the calls being put to air.

“Bring on the whack jobs,” is how Sandilands likes to manage the callers.

Bouchet explained in the podcast how the producers line up the vetted calls on the left-hand side of the screen for the hosts. “On the right-hand side are the ones that the producers are working on getting rid of. Kyle reads the screen from right to left and takes all the calls from the right, especially if they are labelled ‘Do not put to air’.”

Sandilands said he is happy with people having a laugh at his expense. “If you are that much an ego lunatic that you can’t see you own flaws and faults and have a laugh at yourself, and be self-deprecating, then this is not the business for you.”

SCA sacks regional breakfast shows 

“SCA is so thick with high-end management they have no idea what they are doing. There was a brigade of young programmers, radio announcers and producers [in regional markets]. You can make some mistakes in the regional stations, and it is where you learn off Broadway. People can then move to bigger markets like Gold Coast, Canberra, Newcastle etc and then the next step would be a capital city. They chopped out half the country’s young radio talent. Where do people learn now? Community radio? Even though people weren’t paid a lot at country radio stations, people do it because they love it.”

Sandiland’s health, sick days cost Sandilands $250,000

“They are very good producers,” said Sandilands of the production team, adding they are all well paid, possibly all pulling over $100k.

There were quite a few Best Of shows in 2019 when Sandilands was ill, not so much this year.

I had big blood pressure issues and I had sleep apnoea. Some days I was so crippled with headaches I’d be projectile vomiting for hours. I now have the right doctors, eating better and sleeping properly. I now feel alive again.

“I hate missing the show. A lot of people thought I was a lazy bastard, but it was always crippling pain that would stop me from going. Now I don’t have that.”

Sandilands revealed he was penalised financially for missing a show. “$28,000 a day it costs me. I only get 11 sick days a year. Last year they penalised me $250,000.”

2Day’s next Kyle and Jackie O replacement

It has been well documented the number of breakfast shows installed at 2Day FM since Kyle and Jackie O departed. Coming in 2021 is Hughesy, Ed and Erin. During the Mediaweek podcast Sandilands called Hughesy with audio that is a little hard to hear.

Sandilands did comment though on where the new show might get its listeners from.

KS: “Probably from Nova, he’s a Nova type.”

Sandilands also commented on the old Today Network format of just playing the hits, which he said was a good, easy-to-understand music position.

KS: “Radio programmers must think let’s not do the easy, obvious thing, let’s do the hardest, wierdest, wackiest thing and see if that works.”

Sandilands also revealed that he and manager Bruno have purchased the social media handles for 2Day’s new Morning Crew and Hughesy, Ed and Erin breakfast brands. Sandilands estimated he might want $10m for the names, although he later mentioned a smaller amount of $1m.

Radio Ratings 2020, Survey 8: Highlights + Full Results

• Full results and analysis for the final GfK Radio Ratings Survey for the year


• Ben Fordham grows share to 17.1% as 2GB ranks #1 again
• Kyle and Jackie O climb and finish 2020 as #1 FM, bonus guaranteed

UP: KIIS 106.5 +1.0

Read more: Sydney Radio Ratings 2020: Survey 8


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• 3AW share dips, but Ross and Russ still double next best
• Gold 104.3 and Christian O’Connell maintain 2020 FM winning streak

UP: 101.9 Fox FM +1.5
DOWN: 3AW -1.0

Read more: Melbourne Radio Ratings 2020: Survey 8


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• Nova 106.6 with Kip, Ash, Luttsy & Susie unbeatable combo

Read more: Brisbane Radio Ratings 2020: Survey 8


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• Mix 102.3 #1 station, Fiveaa’s David & Will #1 breakfast

UP: SAFM +0.9
DOWN: Mix 102.3 -1.7

Read more: Adelaide Radio Ratings 2020: Survey 8


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• Nova 93.7 with Nathan, Nat & Shaun close off the year at #1

UP: Nova 93.7 +1.8
DOWN: 96FM -1.9

Read more: Perth Radio Ratings 2020: Survey 8


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Mediabrands’ Magna ad forecast: 2020 down 6.2%, 2021 recovery +11%

Magna, the media research and intelligence division of IPG Mediabrands, has released its assessment of the Australian advertising market for 2020 and 2021.

Key summary:

• Australia’s advertising market has declined by -6.2% in 2020 to $15.7 billion dollars as GDP shrinks by -4.5% due to the COVID-triggered recession.”
• Linear ad sales decreased by -25% while digital advertising sales increased by +6%.
• TV ad sales fell by -16%, radio by -27%, print by -32% and OOH by -38%.
• In 2021, MAGNA predicts Australian advertising spending to recover by +11% (linear +17%, digital +9%) to reach $17.5bn, as the economy stabilises and recovers (GDP +3.3%).

Australia’s economy has declined by -4.5% this year, mostly related to significant reliance on raw materials, tourism and international trade.

Australia’s advertising market declined by -6.2% in 2020 to $15.7bn, with linear ad spending declining by -25%, and digital ad spending growing by +6%.

Digital advertising spend (search, video, social, banners) remained robust, growing by +6% full-year. That strength came primarily from social media (+12%), digital video (+13%), and search (+7%). Digital ad sales now represent 68% of total ad budgets, one of the highest shares in the world. As with many countries and regions, brands in Australia prioritised “lower funnel” direct advertising formats that support ecommerce sales. Brand advertising campaigns that target consumers higher in the funnel has been weaker than direct advertising, but has also started to recover in the second half of the year. Weakness in digital advertising came from static banners (-9%) and other digital advertising (-11%). In 2021, digital will grow by +9%.

Linear advertising formats experienced a -25% decline in advertising revenues in 2020. They combine to represent just under a third of total advertiser budgets, the largest is television.

Television advertising revenues declined by -16% to represent just 18% of total budgets. In addition, while the summer Olympics in Tokyo were not expected to be a huge tailwind for advertising spending (rather just a reallocation of budgets through the year in 2020), the delay to 2021 created an additional headwind for TV advertising spending in 2020.

Furthermore, while TV consumption did spike in Australia as it did in many markets in Q2, it wasn’t as long-lasting as it was in many markets, quickly returning to the normal consumption baseline.

Other linear formats have suffered even more severe declines in 2020. Radio ad sales shrank by -27%, print declined by -32%, and out-of-home ad sales decreased by -38%. Cinema advertising collapsed by -67% as theatres closed for most of the year and no US blockbusters were released after March. Despite the relatively mild impact of COVID in Australia measured in case counts, COVID did have a significant impact on consumer behaviour. Working-from-home patterns moved consumers out of metro areas, where most of the OOH inventory is. Furthermore, air travel being largely grounded since March has also impacted OOH spending.

Looking at industry verticals in 2020, advertising spending was weakest in travel, restaurants and automotive. Resilience, on the other hand, came from technology, personal care and pharma.

2021 Forecast

Nick Durrant

In 2021, Australian advertising spending will increase by +11.3% to reach $17.5bn, as the economy stabilises and recovers (GDP +3.3%). This will surpass the prior high in 2019, driven by the ongoing strength of digital with the linear market recovering close to 2019 levels. Spending has already picked up in Q4 2020, with brands demonstrating optimism about 2021’s business conditions and spending accordingly.

Nick Durrant, general manager investment at MAGNA Global said, “2021 is a particularly difficult year to forecast, with the delta between potential outcomes perhaps having never been greater. On the whole we are optimistic about the potential going in to 2021 however we are certainly prepared for less fortunate developments. It seems the underlying economic fundamentals are lining up nicely for a consumer-led recovery next year. Lockdowns, tax cuts and job keeper have put money in people’s pockets and as the future looks brighter with little community transmission and vaccines rolling out, we see people more prepared to spend it.”

Marc Fennell
ABC RN brings in 2021 with a new Saturday afternoon show

Broadcaster and podcaster Marc Fennell will host a new Saturday afternoon show on Australia’s national ideas network Radio National in 2021. 

The Weekend with Marc Fennell will air from 30 January from 1-3 pm and will feature an eclectic range of RN content, from existing programs such as Earshot, seasonal drama such as RN Fictions and new ABC podcasts like Days Like These. It will also broadcast interview highlights from the preceding week across the network.

“The Weekend with Marc Fennell is an exciting development for the network,” said RN’s manager, Cath Dwyer. “Its flexible format will allow us to feature short-run content and weekly highlights from RN’s hugely diverse schedule, while remaining true to our commitment to thoughtful, intelligent and surprising audio content.”

“Every time you flick on The Weekend, trust that we’ll bring you Australia’s best conversations, biggest ideas and wildest adventures” added Marc Fennell.  “It’s going to be a blast sharing the finest ABC audio storytelling with audiences each Saturday.”

Fennell will continue to present Download This Show, RN’s weekly guide to the world of media, culture and technology. 

The Weekend with Marc Fennell will also provide a broadcast launch for exciting new content from ABC Audio Studios, such as the new science comedy show The Pop Test. The 30-minute quiz pits a panel of three guests together, rather than against each other, to answer questions on a wide range of science-themed content such as The Atom, Space Travel and Evolution.

The Pop Test is created and presented by Andy Matthews and Al Tremblay Birchall, two of the writing minds behind Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, and will feature guest appearances from Kate McCartney, Kate McLennan, Nazeem Hussain, Alan Duffy and others.

Popular weekly ethics program The Minefield, hosted by Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens, will see in the new year with a refreshed, hour-long format.

Weekend Life Matters and the weekly World Docos will not return in 2021, to make way for new content in the schedule. Life Matters continues each weekday from 9-10am and RN will continue to feature a range of acclaimed international documentary content in different timeslots.

Contemporary art magazine leaves nextmedia for a new home

One of Australia’s leading and oldest contemporary art magazines has a new home, joining Artist Profile magazine and Art Investor at Artist Profile.

Publisher John Feitelson has announced that Art Almanac will be given the opportunity to create a new direction for this important and much-loved art publication.

“This acquisition is a significant magazine for our company with over 46 years of service to national visual arts and crafts ecology,” said Feitelson.

Arek Widawski, managing director of nextmedia, commented, “After nine years at nextmedia, we are delighted that Art Almanac has the right home for the magazine to keep growing.”

The Artist Profile directors, under the guidance of the company’s managing director Kon Gouriotis, acquired Art Almanac to build an art directory which will take audiences to the diverse and dynamic visual arts and crafts community in all its forms. Art Almanac will move into Artist Profile’s new Sydney studio before the new year.

Art Almanac is the ‘bible’ of the Australian visual arts and craft sector. For nearly five decades the publication has helped to grow the sector and its audience. Today it is available digitally, in every gallery, museum and newsagency throughout Australia. “We are very honoured to welcome Art Almanac and its staff into our company,” said Feitelson.

“We are also delighted to offer the position of editor of Art Almanac to Melissa Pesa. Melissa is passionate about Art Almanac and the arts community. She is the right person to lead Art Almanac into an exciting new direction,” remarked Gouriotis.

Art Almanac enters into a new era – one that will continue to celebrate, inform and support the Australian arts community whilst building on the achievements of recent editors: Owen Craven, Annie Sebel, and Chloe Mandryk. I am honoured to follow in their footsteps and to have the opportunity to lead Art Almanac from strength to strength in its newfound home,” said Pesa.

TV Demand: Animaniacs and The Undoing join the charts with The Mandalorian still #1

By Trent Thomas

The Mandalorian continues to dominate the TV Demand charts in Australia and New Zealand as its lead grows amidst the release of its second season on Disney+ as it has a sizeable lead over its close competition The Crown.

A blast from the past has joined the Digital Originals chart in both Australia and New Zeland with the revival of Animaniacs being released on Hulu. The show saw the return of producer Steven Spielberg, songwriter Randy Rogel, and many of the main voice actors returning to revive the popular comedy.

As with the original 1993 series, the show revolves around the Warner brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and the Warner sister, as they engage in further adventures. The format of the show is usually comprised of three shorts with two following the adventures of Yakko, Wakko and Dot, with the third featuring fan-favourite characters Pinky and the Brain.

The show premiered on November 20, 2020, on Hulu, with a second season expected to premiere in 2021.

The other most noticeable show that has joined the charts is the HBO produced The Undoing which has just finished its successful six-episode run on Foxtel and Binge.

The psychological drama, written and produced by David E. Kelley and directed by Susanne Bier, follows Grace Fraser (Kidman), a successful New York City therapist, and her husband Jonathan (Grant). Overnight, a chasm opens in their lives: a violent death, a missing spouse and a suspicious affair.

The Undoing is the most-watched show on Binge, drawing the largest daily audience for any series since the streaming service launched in May, with audience figures snowballing week on week.

On Foxtel, The Undoing has already surpassed audience figures for Big Little Lies in 2017, achieving +34% above the record-breaking season one. The series has also surpassed audience numbers for other hugely popular HBO titles on Foxtel including The OutsiderTrue DetectiveWatchmen and Westworld.

The Undoing currently ranks as the number one drama to date on Foxtel for 2020, with a weekly cumulative audience to date of 497,000 viewers across Linear and On-Demand platforms.

TV ratings: Summer survey, Tuesday Week 50 2020

By James Manning

• Fox Sports audience grows as repeats dominate FTA primetime
• Seven #1 primary, Nine #1 network

Seven narrowly ranked #1 primary channel last night, but Nine was the #1 network with its combo of four multichannels.

The schedule wasn’t all repeats last night, but as 7.30pm ticked over Seven, Nine and 10 weren’t offering anything new. Of the repeat products, Better Homes and Gardens Summer did best on 403,000 after its start at 7pm. Nine’s 20 To One was on 321,000 and 10’s Ambulance Australia did 297,000.

Fresh programming could be found, but not much of it made the top 20. The ABC was an exception with Outback Ringer and London Zoo both over 300,000. (The summer bar is set pretty low.)

The third and final International T20 between Australia and India on Fox Cricket had a metro audience of 305,000 at the end of the Australian innings, with 260,000 still watching at close to 11pm.

Week 49: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.6% 7 15.8% 9 15.5% 10  12.2% SBS One 5.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 4.5% GO! 3.1% 10 Bold 3.9% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 3.0% GEM 2.8% 10 Peach 4.0% Food Net 1.3%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 2.3% 9Life 2.6% 10 Shake 0.5% NITV 0.2%
        9Rush 1.7%     SBS World Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 18.3%   25.5%   25.8%   20.6%   9.8%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 12.1% 7 16.4% 9 12.5% WIN 10.8% SBS One 4.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 6.3% GO! 2.8% WIN Bold 4.9% VICELAND 1.7%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 6.2% GEM 4.5% WIN Peach 3.8% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 2.2% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.2% 9Life 3.3% Sky News  on WIN 2.3% NITV 0.0%
                SBS Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 18.2%   30.2%   23.2%   21.9%   7.2%


82.7% 17.3%
  1. Seven News Seven 904,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 866,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 784,000
  4. Nine News Nine 782,000
  5. ABC News ABC 631,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 604,000
  7. 7.30 ABC 528,000
  8. The Chase Australia Seven 472,000
  9. Better Homes And Gardens Summer Seven 403,000
  10. Hot Seat Nine 383,000
  11. The Project 7pm 10 373,000
  12. London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year ABC 323,000
  13. 20 To One – (R) Nine 321,000
  14. Outback Ringer ABC 316,000
  15. NCIS (R) 10 307,000
  16. Ambulance Australia (R) 10 297,000
  17. 10 News First 10 295,000
  18. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 288,000
  19. The Project 6.30pm 10 270,000
  20. Kath & Kim – (R) Nine 252,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. Seven News Seven 89,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 84,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 82,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 74,000
  5. Nine News Nine 71,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Seven News Seven 173,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 159,000
  3. Nine News Nine 156,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 155,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 153,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Nine News 6:30 Nine 214,000
  2. Seven News Seven 210,000
  3. Nine News Nine 205,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 203,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 187,000
Tuesday Multichannel
  1. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 197,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 161,000
  3. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 159,000
  4. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  5. The Big Bang Theory Ep 2 10 Peach 126,000
  6. Inspector Morse PM 7TWO 124,000
  7. Neighbours 10 Peach 124,000
  8. Adam Hills: The Last Leg ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  9. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  10. The Big Bang Theory Ep 3 10 Peach 116,000
  11. Love Monster AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  12. The Big Bang Theory 10 Peach 112,000
  13. Spicks And Specks Ep 2 ABCKIDS/COMEDY 111,000
  14. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 109,000
  15. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000
  16. Friends Ep 3 (R) 10 Peach 106,000
  17. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 104,000
  18. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 104,000
  19. Book Hungry Bears AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 102,000
  20. Peter Rabbit AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 101,000
Tuesday STV
  1. Live: T20 Innings Break FOX CRICKET 436,000
  2. Live: T20: AUS V IND Game 3 FOX CRICKET 349,000
  3. Live: T20 Post Game FOX CRICKET 343,000
  4. Live: T20: AUS V IND Game 3 FOX CRICKET 306,000
  5.  AUS A V IND A Tour Match FOX CRICKET 148,000
  6. Live: T20 Pre-Game FOX CRICKET 70,000
  7. Credlin Sky News Live 58,000
  8. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 57,000
  9. Live: AUS A V IND A Tour Match FOX CRICKET 39,000
  10. Chris Smith Tonight Sky News Live 38,000
  11. Inside The News Sky News Live 37,000
  12. Below Deck FOX Arena 33,000
  13. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 30,000
  14. PML Later Sky News Live 30,000
  15. NCIS FOX Crime 30,000
  16. Blue Bloods FOX One 28,000
  17. Midsomer Murders UKTV 27,000
  18. Coronation Street UKTV 27,000
  19. BBL Mini: The Final Sixers V Stars FOX CRICKET 26,000
  20. 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown UKTV 26,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

It’s time to talk as government meets Google’s demands

The federal government has acceded to the three demands Google lodged when the ACCC first released its draft media bargaining code in July, which means any further arguments are simply game-playing by the behemoth, reports The Australian’s John Durie.

Back in July Google wanted recognition that it referred readers back to media companies, limits on the notification over algorithm changes and clarification that it doesn’t have to hand over data to the media companies.

On advice from the ACCC, as previously reported here, federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has agreed to all three suggestions, which arguably should satisfy the digital behemoths.

Frydenberg will table the code in parliament on Wednesday, clearing the way for it to pass into law in the first quarter of next year.

The inclusion of the ABC and SBS in the code should ensure the Greens and crossbenchers support the code, which opens the way for the behemoths to start negotiating with the media companies.

[Read more]

News payments to take into account 'eyeballs' Google, Facebook bring

Google and Facebook will be forced to pay news organisations for their content under proposed Australian laws with global implications, but the amount of money publishers receive may be offset against the value of the online traffic they get from the tech giants, report The Sydney Morning Herald’s Lisa Visentin and Zoe Samios.

In a major win for Google and Facebook, the code will provide for a two-way value exchange in the arbitration process, allowing the tech giants to argue they provide news companies with millions of dollars in referral traffic each year.

[Read more]

Media code for Facebook and Google provides win-win result for all

The government’s proposed code to get social media and search engine platforms – initially Facebook and Google – to pay something for the content they’ve been effectively stealing from media companies is both sensible and smart, writes News Corp’s Terry McCrann.

It’s finely balanced between a hands-off and oppressively interventionist approach. It aims at promoting deals in the shared best interests of both the media companies and the digital platforms, as against opting for rigid rules and busybody regulators.

Critically, it does not seek to lock in either 20th century or even 21st century industry structures – obviously, specifically, on the media side; or guarantee a future or even just a short-term profit for any specific players.

the payments will not guarantee the survival of a Nine or a News Corp or indeed anyone else. It stops the platforms stealing their futures – while they still have to make them.

[Read more]

Howard Stern, SiriusXM sign new multi-year deal for maybe $800m+

US broadcaster Howard Stern, the “King of All Media”, will continue to make satellite radio giant SiriusXM his home, extending his long-running deal with the company for his flagship show by five years, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The deal, unveiled on Tuesday, also covers the Stern archive for seven additional years. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Stern, 66, is currently working under a five-year deal, estimated to be worth as much as US$100 million a year, with Sirius that expires at the end of this year. Recent chatter had focused on the new deal being for up to US$120 million per year. [Five years as US$120m values the deal at over A$800m.]

The news was first reported by Stern live during his show Tuesday morning. “Fifteen years ago, I joined SiriusXM, a fledgling group of broadcasters. I had been in a toxic relationship with terrestrial radio,” Stern said. “And no matter how well I treated the medium, no matter how successful I made them, they abused me. Going to SiriusXM liberated me. I felt like Tina Turner freeing myself from Ike.”

[Read more]

News Brands

Joe Aston trial: Jatz crackers and banalities of a self-identifying gossip

And so it came to pass on day five of the nation’s most enthralling defamation case that photographs of Joe Aston’s feet were entered into evidence, reports The Australian’s Caroline Overington.

Aston, and his employer, Nine Newspapers, are being sued by venture capitalist Elaine Stead, formerly a director of the Blue Sky investment firm, over two articles and a tweet, in which Aston described her as a stupid cretin, who had acted like a “pyromaniac” with other people’s money.

Stead’s barrister, Sue Chrysanthou SC, began by asking whether Aston really believed that Stead, who has a PhD, is stupid, and if so how he came to that conclusion.

“Stupid is as stupid does,” he said. “Someone who repeatedly does stupid things is by definition stupid.”

He referred to what he described as the “banality” of Stead’s social media posts, and here Chrysanthou pounced, for it seemed that Aston had quite a few social media accounts of his own.

And had he ever posted anything banal, Chrysanthou wanted to know? Photos of his food, for example? “Certainly,” he replied.

“You have (posted) rather a lot of photos of your feet … I’ll just show you,” said Chrysanthou. And so a parcel of images, now known as Exhibit 27, was tendered, becoming forevermore discoverable by anyone fossicking in the Federal Court’s archives for Stead v Aston.

[Read more]

See also:
‘Faceless men’ behind Joe Aston’s view of Blue Sky’s Elaine Stead
• AFR star Joe Aston’s court Street Talk critique
• Unlimited cast in the courtroom at Stead, Aston trial


Remembering Cliff Green: A tribute by Mac Gudgeon & Roger Simpson

Cliff Green was a pioneer in Australian screenwriting and a central figure in the Guild’s early development, write colleagues from the Australian Writer’s Guild, Mac Gudgeon and Roger Simpson.

His television credits include his celebrated quartet, Marion, inspired by his time as a school teacher in the Mallee, and the sprawling adaptations, Power Without Glory and I Can Jump Puddles. His screenplay for Peter Weir’s Picnic At Hanging Rock remains a landmark in Australia’s film renaissance of the 1970s.

Throughout his illustrious career, Cliff won or was nominated for dozens of industry awards, including 8 AWGIES, as well as receiving an International Emmy Nomination, an Australian first, for Boy Soldiers. In 1990 he was awarded the Richard Lane Award, the Guild’s highest honour for Outstanding Services and Dedication to the AWG. In 2009 he received the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for ‘Service to the Australian Film and Television Industry as a Screenwriter and Educator’. 

Green died on Friday 4 December 2020 after a long illness. He leaves an impressive body of work and a strong Guild he helped guide and develop through its early years. The AWG extends its condolences to his wife Judy, their children and extended families. Cliff Green was 85.

[Read more]

AWGIE Awards: Wins for The Heights, Rosehaven, Total Control, The Feed

Playwright Suzie Miller’s critically acclaimed one-woman play Prima Facie has taken out the two highest honours at the Australian Writers’ Guild’s annual AWGIE Awards, winning the 2020 Major Award and the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre.

In a year that has seen our Australian stories under threat from Covid-19 shutdowns, funding cuts and delays to Government reform, the new-look AWGIE Awards were a fitting coda to 2020; driven online due to restrictions but emerging as a joyous celebration of the strength and talents of Australia’s screen and stage writers.

The AWGIE Awards were hosted by actor, writer and comedian Bjorn Stewart, with Awards presented by Hugo Weaving, Wayne Blair, Marta Dusseldorp, Tony McNamara, Shane Brennan, David Williamson, Tony Ayres, Kodie Bedford, Benjamin Law, Michelle Law, Alison Bell, John Leary, and Bradley Slabe.

TV Winners

The Heights: Season 2, Episode 7 – Peter Mattessi

Total Control: Episode 3 – Pip Karmel

The HuntingMatthew Cormack and Niki Aken

Little J & Big Cuz: Season 2, ‘Goodbye Swooper’ – Erica Glynn

Mustangs FC: Season 3, ‘Mustangs Forever and Ever’ – Magda Wozniak

Rosehaven: Season 4, Episode 5 – Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola

The Feed: ‘Anger For Women’, ‘Chloe Shorten’s Husband’, ‘Social Media Cops’, ‘Scotophile’ and ‘Bushfire Press Release’ – Victoria Zerbst with Michael Hing, Cameron James, Alex Lee and Jenna Owen

7.30: Season 2 – Mark Humphries and Evan Williams

See here for full list of winners.

Beyond Rights sells Halifax: Retribution to US broadcaster

Beyond Rights has announced the psychological thriller Halifax: Retribution has been acquired in the US by PBS Distribution for transmission on the PBS Masterpiece Channel on Prime Video.

Produced by Beyond Lonehand, a Beyond group production company, for Nine Network (Australia), the 8 x 60 procedural drama stars Rebecca Gibney (Wanted, Lowdown Dirty Criminals, Flying Doctors) and Anthony LaPaglia (Lantana, Riviera, Without a Trace). The new series sees Gibney reprising her iconic role as forensic psychiatrist Jane Halifax from Halifax F.P., a series of 21 award-winning, feature-length dramas that ran on Australian television from 1994 to 2002.

HALIFAX: Retribution has proved both a ratings and critical success this year. It remains the highest-rated new Australian drama of 2020, winning its primetime slot across all the commercial FTA networks for every episode and securing more than a million viewers each time, according to official consolidated viewing figures. In addition, the series was recently nominated in the Best Drama Series category for the 2020 AACTA Awards (Australian Academy for Cinema, Television and Arts), while Rebecca Gibney was nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Series.

Sherry Fynbo, EVP sales for North America at Beyond Rights, was responsible for negotiating the deal with PBS Distribution. She comments: “Through its Masterpiece brand, PBS has long provided a home for some of the world’s best and most enduring scripted series. We are thrilled that Halifax: Retribution will now sit alongside its impressive collection of leading English-language dramas on the PBS Masterpiece channel on Amazon’s Prime Video.”

Mikael Borglund, Beyond International’s CEO and MD, executive produced both the original HALIFAX F.P. titles and HALIFAX: Retribution. He adds: “It was real pleasure to bring so many of the original team back together, including creator and writer Roger Simpson, to see how Jane Halifax’s life had unfolded over the past two decades. Fans of the original series, which sold all over the world and featured everyone from Hugh Jackman and Hugo Weaving to Guy Pierce and Frances O’Connor, had been waiting patiently for this series, while its very contemporary themes around data mining and personal freedoms, in addition to its strong characters and smart standalone script, are successfully attracting new audiences. I’m sure it will prove very popular in the US.”

Listen to Mediaweek’s Halifax: Retribution podcast with Roger Simpson and Rebecca Gibney.

Sports Media

Footy stars in Amazon doco from Eddie McGuire’s Jam TV revealed

The footy identities involved in the $10 million documentary series to be streamed on Amazon Prime have been revealed, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

The seven hour-long episodes, titled Making Their Mark, will launch on March 12 next year.

They will feature star players – West Coast’s Nic Naitanui, Carlton’s Eddie Betts, GWS captain Stephen Coniglio and Adelaide’s Rory Sloane; plus Gold Coast Suns coach Stuart Dew and Richmond’s hierarchy, president Peggy O’Neal, chief executive Brendon Gale and coach Damien Hardwick.

Eddie McGuire’s media company Jam TV has produced the series that captures the highs and the lows of a Covid-19 interrupted season. It will air in 244 countries.

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